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No sightings of Roe Deer, Hare or Badger will be mentioned on this blog throughout the year and links will be removed from other blogs giving the whereabouts of these mammals due to the rising influx of poaching, long dogging and lamping by sick individuals.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
What started off as a sleepy late afternoon watch at Fly Flatts, with bright but overcast skies at 15 degrees and hardly a breeze from the south, turned out to be a cracking finish to the month when I spotted a wader over the water looking larger than a Common Sand. I got the bins on it to find it was a Plover type and no wing bars meaning a rare bird for this location, Little Ringed Plover.
The bird was circuiting the water mid height but very fast and zig zaggy so with fear of it leaving I risked taking my eye off it and grabbing the camera for a record shot. I then swapped back to the bins in hope of seeing where it landed but it was joined by another 2 which kept moving round at a great rate of knots but I soon found out why.
As they were looking like landing in the SE corner a brown raptor skimmed through the middle of them splitting them up and sending them skyward very high and away >NW. I then grabbed the camera again concentrating on what I thought was a female Merlin as it rocketed away >N but looking at the pics it was a brown juv Peregrine hence the half hearted attempt to take one of them. Merlins don,t give up that easy and lock onto the bird chasing them for several minutes.
With 12 Ringed Plover counted together at one point last year I only got 1 quick sighting of a Little Ringed and this is the usual occurrence each year so a pleasing result.
April went out with a bang wader wise with a mega day today. Not counting Snipe, Lapwing, Golden Plover and Curlew my wader count for today at Fly Flatts was :-
10 Common Sandpiper
3 Little Ringed Plovers
and several Common Sands and Dunlin on the north shore but uncountable scoping at that distance into the heat shimmer.
Plus a first Swift today as a bonus.
Ringed Plover next then its anybodies guess to what will turn up plus I,m waiting for that Osprey over anytime now.
Another morning of thick fog at Queensbury and in the valleys but Fly Flatts was way above the clouds in wall to wall sunshine , 20% cloud cover and a very light SE>3.
A new arrival overnight of Dunlins with a minimum of 11 present along with 10 Common Sandpipers at the south end with others scurrying about on the north shore but impossible to count through the scope in the heat shimmer.
At least 5 Redshank are present with more around the north ponds along with 2 Oystercatchers whilst 4 Snipe were chipping. A Merlin went over high probably attracted by a good number of Swallows moving through all >S and very low, some head height skimming past me.
Otherwise it was down to Lapwings, Canadas, Greylags and Curlew with the usual 2 Red Legged Partridge down the track area. A low count of Meadow pipits this year up to the usual high numbers.
Just as I thought it was all over a first Swift was overhead as I drove past Mixenden reservoir heading >N in no great rush. This is my earliest back by one day .
Monday, April 29, 2019
Another of those sleepy afternoons with a light SE>3 , blue skies and sunshine getting most of the birds sleeping around the shoreline. Birds were as this morning with Common Sandpiper and Redshank dozing around the shore with Dunlins stealing the show with 4 still present in the SE corner sleeping part of the time and feeding in among naps.
It should be the turn of Ringed Plovers next in if things goes as the previous years schedule and someone in the area should have a Swift by the weekend.
Dense fog in Queensbury but took a gamble on Fly Flatts which paid off to find it above the cloud with blue sky and sunshine hazing over slightly mid watch on a light SE>3.
The first Dunlins had arrived back this morning with 4 present by the lagoon and feeding along the south east shoreline along with Common Sandpipers, Redshanks and Oystercatchers. The exposed islands are attracting the gulls now and look ideal for Terns. Just 3 Wheatear present this morning along with 2 Reed Bunting and the usual species.